Sale of Mobile SIMs through franchises allowed
Telcos and security: PM Ashraf undoes Rehman Malik’s directives
Prime minister holds meeting with mobile phone operators, rejects Rehman Malik’s recommendations
Islamabad (Express Tribune / November 29, 2012) – Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf directed mobile phone operators to not send SIMs to residential addresses of the buyers – in contradiction with the rules earlier laid down by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, reported Express News on Thursday.
The prime minister held a meeting with mobile phone operators in Islamabad where he directed them to not send SIMs through courier and to only issue SIMs on verification of National Identity Cards (NIC).
The prime minister also lifted the ban on Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service, which allows cellular subscribers to change their service provider while retaining the same number.
The sale of SIMs from retail network, however, shall remain suspended until the biometric devices are deployed at each centre, the prime minister said.
Prime Minister Ashraf also directed the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Information Technology to immediately sit with Customs and other relevant authorities to streamline the import and local assembling of cellular handsets in the country and ensure that all handsets bear unique identification numbers(IMEI). He also ordered handsets without IMEI and duplicate IMEI to be banned.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), as directed by the interior ministry, had earlier ordered the cellular services companies to not sell new SIMs through franchises, customer service centres or retailers from November 30.
Service providers will also have to verify all unregistered SIMs by December 12. Unregistered ones will be blocked permanently using a 5% illegal SIMs per week formula, the PTA said.
“The ban on cellular services in Muharram was in the national interest and sometimes people have to bear some trouble for the sake of national interest,” said the prime minister.